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Spring King – Live Review – 15/05/16

Tonight I ventured into the North West of England to a city called Preston. An area which I never associated with having a decent music scene but upon entering The Ferret to see Spring King, I discovered Ptown had an indie suburb. A few days after playing live on Later with Jools Holland, the band had ventured to the new horizons that is Preston. A small, intimate setting including a bar and restaurant – tonight was one of The Ferret’s ‘Band, Burgers and Beer’ nights, what more would you want on a Sunday evening?  

No Hot Ashes

No Hot Ashes began the night, a Stockport band of young lads who are steadily making a name for themselves. They played an array of their songs. Latest single Cool Cat was a funky tune with an impressive bass and raspy vocals from lead singer, Isaac Taylor. Easy Peeler had a quickened tempo than the original recording with backing guitar riff rapidly playing along to Taylor, who was jumping across the stage. He was a true front man with his combination of singing and rapping to his written songs – very impressive for a recently turned 18 year old.

Photo Credit - Kate Brennan

Get Inuit

Up next were Kent quartet Gen Inuit, the main support for Spring King’s tour. They seem a fitting sound for the headline with even their drummer adopting, Tarek Musa‘s look of the cap. Get Inuit provided loud and intense songs which drowned the venue in music whilst they bopped their mop heads to the beats. They complemented the tunes of Spring King and their quick tempo songs warmed the audience up nicely. Lead singer, Jamie Glass, was a particularly friendly chap, developing a rapport with audience and repeatedly thanking Spring King for allowing them to join their tour. His sound was unique and powerful as songs became almost like horror movies with continual screams voiced from him, throwing his head back – clearly a passionate musician.

Photo Credit - Kate Brennan

Spring King

By the time the Manchester band were set to play The Ferret had filled with a mixture of ages. I was unsure as to whether they were going to get the usual reactions of circles and shoving with this kind of audience. Spring King casually walked through the crowd and onto the stage. Lead singer, Tarek Musa was dressed in his traditional attire of baseball cap and Hawaiian shirt. He expressed his amazement at how filled the venue was to then find out it was a sold out show. After a brief chat with the crowd it was discovered the furthest someone had travelled was 3 and half hours from Edinburgh. A promising fan following for a band who haven’t even released a debut album yet.

The set began with Better Man creating a fast and powerful kick start with the band literally kicking their feet into the air as they played. Bassist James Green’s hyper moves began and carried on for pretty much the whole set, I’m intrigued to know the secret to his perpetual hyperactivity.  Immediately the crowd start rhythmically bouncing and singing along, a promising start for what was to ensue.

The next song gave us something we Brits only get for about a week a year, the festival song The Summer. The song did indeed generate a summer-feel, as the high sounding exclamations of ‘the summer’s here’ created a lively atmosphere of happy Brits seeing the sun at last. One of Spring King’s relatively new songs set to be the title track for upcoming debut album Tell Me if You Like To.

Preston’s audience were not like the usual rowdy crowd pushing and shoving each other in mosh pits, but an audience ecstatic at the music. There was one particular middle aged woman who caught my eye as she took the stage in the crowd. Her jiving and grooving, shouting back the lyrics with a pint in hand was entertaining – a true image of Preston’s finest.

Next up was They’re Coming After You in which the band altered the tempo and sound of the song making it a slow ballad gradually building up to the powerful beat of Tarek’s drums. Tarek began the song dramatically speaking the lyrics, the microphone providing an eerie echo. He became the true lead as he left his drum kit behind and paced the front of the stage, singing to himself. This isn’t the first time the band has performed this twist to They’re Coming After You. It goes from a swaying rhythm to something unnatural and dramatic. It’ll be interesting to see if this change is included on their upcoming album.

 

The song finished with an instrumental ending which became a smooth transition into Mumma. The band exchanged smirking looks as Mumma began. Peter Darlington was taken away with the music as he threw himself around the stage, passionately rocking the guitar solo. The catchy chorus excited the audience, as fist pumps were raised through the garage-rock tunes.

Who Are You came next and enticed the crowd into an aggressive frenzy of dance and bounce during the violent echoed shouts of “who are you.” The quick-blow song showed off the band’s guitar game.

All this heavy music, crazy rhythms and never-ending bouncing exhausted the band, panting and sweating, Tarek complained about of his lack of fitness.  They were in need of a break so announced their decision to play what they termed as a “slow one,” with All This Murk & Dirt.  Spring King’s version of slow however is not exactly what you’d usually expect. Despite the relaxing break for the band, the crowd continued to throw moves all over the place, keeping up a lively atmosphere. After the apparent break, Rectifier kicked off next.  The energetic beats created a mash of guitar, bass and drums leaving them all over the stage and out of breath by the end once again.

Next was Can I? which became an anthemic song as the band performed the classic gig move of ceasing their playing and holding the microphone out to the crowd who shouted the lyrics back to the silence.

To end the gig was the catchy song, the jewel of Spring King’s crown. The audience took this opportunity to dance to their hearts content. James Green, went into the audience to dance along with guitar still in hand. With this energetic tune the band finished their set with crazy beats and insane guitar playing.

 

Spring King came across as a laid back, approachable band as they hung around after the gig to chat and even smoke with fans. They were a likeable group establishing a strong rapport with their enthusiastic northerners. It was event where simply everyone had a great time.

They delivered to Preston an impressively long set list of 14 songs. Why, out of all the British cities, Spring King chose Preston is unknown to me but with their current track record and upcoming debut album, it’ll more likely be Manchester where Ptowners will have to gather. Their upcoming debut album is definitely set to become a big one.

Spring King played:

Better Man

Tell Me If You Like To

The Summer

Demons

Detroit

They’re Coming After You

Mumma

Who Are You?

In All This Murk & Dirt

Rectifier

Can I?

Let’s Ride

City

V-V-V-Vampire